Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Nature Notes

It’s June, spring is starting to feel as though it’s ready to morph into summer, and flowers and flying insects abound. All this has me turning once again to Edith Holden’s The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady, and she has some delightful writings and watercolors for us this month.

June 2nd: Went down to a little stream...Found a great bed of Yellow Irises in Blossom.
Her illustration includes a dragonfly, and just last weekend I caught a glimpse of my first dragonfly of the season.

June 4th: Picked Yellow-Rattle, Pink and Scarlet Clover and saw some Moon Daisies in a field. Gathered Foxgloves.
June 9th: Saw a Painted Lady and a Small Blue Butterfly. Rowan-tree in blossom and Elder-tree.
The name Painted Lady makes me smile.

June 15th: Went to Lowry Crossing to sketch pony and foal.
Her sketch of the pony and foal appear in the July chapter, so you’ll have to come back next month to see it.

Edith cites numerous poems for June. This one is by a poet I’m not familiar with, but I love the rhythm and rhyme.

by E. M. Heath

Wreathing honey suckles winding
with the westering sun
Self entwined and twig entangled
bush and briar o’er run,—
What a mass of yellow bloom!
Clustering beads of sweet perfume!
Finger-buds of rose unfurling
Clariontrumps their tips uncurling
Opening to the azure sky
Waxen throats of minstrelsy!
This is pink honeysuckle instead of yellow, and only here for illustrative purposes.

I’m trying to recall if I’ve ever encountered the word “minstrelsy” before this, and I don’t think I have. It refers to a troupe of minstrels, and a clarion is a clear, rousing sound. Both fitting descriptions for honeysuckle of any color, don’t you think?

Until next time,


Marin Thomas said...


Edith's watercolors are beautiful--thanks for sharing!


Lee McKenzie said...

They are beautiful, aren't they? I love impressionist, modern and abstract art, but it's more about emotion than place and time. I also love realistic art that makes me feel as though I'm sitting in a garden in July or strolling across a field in March or sitting on the bank of a brook in September.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of a young woman rambling through the countryside, not just appreciating nature but being a student of it, illustrating it and recording it. That, combined with her love of poetry, make her a true Renaissance woman.

Jodie Esch said...

I haven't seen those pictures for awhile. It was a great reminder of the wonderful detail and gentle colours that the artist used.
My garden is awash with colour right now. It is very much a June garden, blood-red poppies, white roses, and blue delpheniums. I love to head there as a retreat when I'm fatigued with my writing.

Lee McKenzie said...

Jodie, your garden sounds like a restful retreat. I love gardens in all their phases, but June color probably tops the list.